Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: conv Date: Jun 1, 2007 4:13pm
Forum: netlabels Subject: cnv40 - Brouwer, Emery, Gilmore, Knapp, Martin, Peverett - poulenc

Jim Brouwer, Paul Emery, Joe Gilmore, Tom Knapp, Ed Martin and Alex Peverett.
25 May 2002, The Crypt, Leeds Town Hall.

Poulenc is a live interpretation of Francis Poulenc's religious choral and organ work Litanies à la Vierge Noir (1936). The original work consists of a series of prayers to Mary and was composed after the composer's pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Rocamadour which contains a wooden Black Madonna. Black Madonnas are thought to be related to pre-Christian Earth Goddess traditions. Their dark skin, the colour of fertile earth, is associated with feminine sexual power and an archetypal Earth Mother who presides over both fertility and death.

The ensemble performed on three consecutive nights to three different audiences. The unedited recording documented here was recorded directly to DAT on the second night and contains no overdubs or post-production. It was the intention of the artists to preserve the spiritual nature of the original work, to harness the sacred and cosmic, whilst recontextualising the sound.

"I was really struck by the careful dismantling of the original music. Like handling an ancient vase or something. It was like watching a tight-rope walker – the perfect balance between unpicking the classical and reassembling it as something totally contemporary." – Dominic Gray, Opera North